#ConlethRecommends : Be Fabulous

Hey Guys!

It’s so nice to see the spring weather finally kicking in! Hope everyone had a lovely Easter. Later today I get the final mix of my song ‘Giving It Up’. It has been getting incredible insider music reviews. It’s all so exciting – I cannot wait to get it out there this summer. I have decided to open up a bit in my column. I had a bit of a life-changing moment last week. I’m about to get a tad personal. Read more to find out….

  
BRENDA SHANKEY – BE FABULOUS (Audiobook)

Two weeks ago I went to see Mariah Carey at the O2 in London. As if it wasn’t one of the best nights anyway seeing my all-time favourite singer on stage anyway, on leaving the O2 I was approached by quite possibly the most handsome man in the building who wanted to have a chat, have a drink and exchange numbers. I literally had butterflies. We decided to go on a date the following week.

I met him the following Friday. He picked me up in his Range Rover, looking handsome as ever. I couldn’t stop staring at him. I had such a crush. He was as beautiful as I remembered. We drove back to his house to drop his car back before heading out to grab some dinner. He has the most beautiful home in the most beautiful area of London. Over dinner he told me a lot more about himself, and likewise. I had the most amazing evening with one of the nicest guys I have met in London in my 13 years of living here in this city. He introduced me to new (brilliant) music, we laughed, and genuinely clicked. I had a lovely evening. I left him just before midnight, in true Cinderella-style, haha!

However, I wasn’t quite prepared for how I would feel over the next few days. My self-confidence took a nose-dive. I compared my own life to his. I was on a date with someone who is a year older than me who owns his own company, his own London home. I had just been on a date with the man who has everything. He never once made me feel inadequate, if anything, he did everything he could to make me feel good. This was my own issue, my own insecurity. I was kicking myself because I don’t own a London home or have a fancy Range Rover etc etc. I know I have achieved my own successes in life, but all of a sudden they didn’t matter anymore. Over the next few days, I felt lower, because all I wanted to do was text him asking him when I could see him again, but refrained because I thought to myself ‘It’s best I don’t act on my feelings here, because there’s nothing I can give the boy who has everything, so let’s stop this in it’s tracks’. The funny thing about it was, when I met him at the O2, all I knew was that I was chatting to a very likeable, handsome chap. His background was irrelevant.

In life I constantly go to the gym, the yoga studio, I eat well, all because I want to feel good about my physicality. This week I decided to get in touch with my friend Brenda Shankey, because my self-esteem had plummeted. I even had 2 castings and I didn’t feel I had any confidence for the first time in a very long time. I realised I was putting too much into my physical health and constant pressure to ‘look the best I can’, but ignoring my mind and thought it may be time to look into ‘mindfulness’. Brenda recently released a very successful audiobook called ‘Be Fabulous’ a few months back. The marketing aims it more at women, but Brenda told me to ignore that and just have a listen. I spent an entire hour on a train journey the following day with my eyes closed, earphones in – with Brenda’s voice in my head throughout. I breathed, I listened, I got rid of all the ‘clutter’ in my mind, and I got off the train at the end of the journey with a smile on my face. All I had to do was just self-appreciate. So mindfulness is something I want to practise everyday. I woke up this morning, and I smiled and opened my curtains and just focused on my breathing. My advice to anyone who is feeling anxious, have a listen to this inspirational lady speak. Brenda has the ability to make anyone feel better about themselves, and by the end of it, I even managed to think that this guy might just like me, because I am, well…… me.

Everything in life happens for a reason. I now feel very inspired by this guy. He really is a GREAT person, and I know even just after one meet, he is responsible for a huge change in me and has a friend in me for life. He’s a ‘Go-Getter’, and I applaud that. Within one week I have managed to really change my train of thought thanks to being inspired by him and listening to Brenda Shankey’s ‘Be Fabulous’, and I am in the early stages of setting up my own Social Media Business alongside all my creative work and have already acquired two clients. Look after your mind, as well as your muscles. You can achieve anything you want in life. Thank you Brenda and Mr Mariah. Namaste.

  
ALL SAINTS – RED FLAG (London Records) 5 STARS

ALL SAINTS are BACK!! The four-piece girl band had massive success in back in 1998 with hits like ‘Never Ever’ and in 2000 with the unforgettable ‘Pure Shores’. Back in 2006 they had a another comeback with the album ‘Studio 1’ (which I loved) but everything pretty much dismantled after one single. With a critically acclaimed comeback gig at London’s KOKO last week, they are back with what is the album of their career and quite possibly the best pop comeback of the year.

The album has a very strong R&B stamp with great pop melodies and slick production throughout. The first single from the album ‘One Strike’ is classic ALL SAINTS, written by the group’s main writer Shaznay Lewis. She explained on Alan Carr’s show that she it wrote it for her fellow band member Nicole Appleton and her departure from Oasis frontman, Liam Gallagher. Despite it being almost 20 years since the group first introduced us to their music, there are still flavours and influences from the early music in this album, and that is what the fans will want and appreciate. There are a lot of diverse sounds on here. My personal favourites are ‘One Woman Man’ (a true girl-power anthem with a mega-catchy chorus that looks like it’s going to be the follow up single to ‘One Strike’), ‘Summer Rain’ is a very cool laid back track that almost sounds like it could be from Alanis Morisette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ album that has definite throw back moments to their ‘Saints and Sinners’ era. The song ‘Who is Who’ takes a nod towards the band’s infamous previous bust-ups which eventually led to their demise in 2002. It’s a piano led ballad with beautiful string production on top. This song and the album closer ‘Pieces’ demonstrate excellent four-part harmonies that are really quite beautiful and are amongst the highlights of the album! I also can’t stop listening to the extremely well produced ‘Puppet on a String’. It’s uber catchy! Also, the album title track ‘Red Flag’ is a total grower with a great hook on the chorus ‘I was like a bull to a red flag, a moth to a burning flame’. Yes girls, this album is EVERYTHING!

ALL SAINTS have nothing more to prove, they have the number 1 singles, this album is just about getting more good music from the group out there, and it’s so great to see that almost 20 years later they are back with songs that are as good, if not better. See you at the O2 Brixton Academy in October girls!

  
FAT FACE

I first got into Fat Face because I live a 2 minute walk from one in Chiswick in West London. First of all it was just so convenient to quickly run in and grab a shirt for a night out, but the more I went in, the more I realised the the fits are brilliant and the colours, designs and range are actually very much up my street! No matter where I am, if I am wearing something from FAT FACE, people always comment on how nice the clothing item is, whether it be a pair of boots, a coat, a t-shirt etc etc. Their XS range is perfect for me. I can guarantee you I will always get a compliment on my gym-work anytime I am wearing a FAT FACE XS T-shirt, not because it is really tight and shows off my body, but because it fits me perfectly. The tailored fit is much better than most hugh street brands. When I was home in Belfast at Christmas performing at The Grand Opera House I got a lot of my winter clothing from the store in Victoria Square. Their winter collection was stunning and I was constantly being asked ‘Where did you get that coat/shirt/jeans?’. I think people associate it with an older generation, but the clothes in this store are very current!

  
Their new summer collection has just been launched and I love it! I really love their mid-blue slim jeans. They are a really sexy jean that show off the leg muscle and definition. I can definitely wear these and feel like my hard work at the gym is being acknowledged! Ha! Also have a look out for their Marl Crew Neck T-Shirts, they are the most amazing fit!! I feel so confident about my shape in these. Another highlight in this collection is their Navy Ripley Jacket! That’s next on my list! People of Belfast, get yourself down to FAT FACE in Victoria Square for very affordable fashion!

www.fatface.com

Conleth Kane

  

  

Post Author: Belfast Times

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